Self Deprivation Tanks on Netflix’s Stranger Things

Floating News

There is no such thing as bad publicity. Sure, Stranger Things made self derivations tanks seem a bit scary.  But they also looked pretty cool, and probably triggered a lot Google searches that resembled: “What is a Self Deprivation Tank?”

In fact, if you look at Google Trends for Isolation Tanks there is a big spike around July 17thStranger Things was released on Netflix on July 15th.

Isolation Tank Trend Spike - Stranger Things


So, although the tank was used to concentrate the powerful mind of a little girl turned military weapon, there is no bad publicity.

As with most Hollywood versions of anything, they got some things right about isolation tanks, and they got some things wrong.

Self Deprevation Tank Stranger Things

What they got right:

  1. The tub was filled with the right amount of salt, about 1500 pounds.
  2. They added hot and cold water until they got the temperature correct. Although you could not read the thermometer they were aiming at a temperature between 93-94 degrees.  This is to match the water temperature with normal skin temperature which is part of any sensory deprivation tank.
  3. They floated an egg. Although not a technique used by floating locations, this is a good way to test the buoyancy of water.
  4. Eleven was in the dark. They did by providing a blacked-out mask for her to wear.  Again, this is not a standard float tank technique, but being in darkness is vital to a successful float.  This is usually accomplished by simply being in a pitch black room.

What they got wrong:

  1. The isolation. Isolation tanks don’t work as well when there are six people around watching you float.  However, most people don’t have the ability to move and destroy things with their mind, so we will let that one slide.
  2. The tub was filled with the wrong kind of salt. They grabbed salt from the local school, which was stockpiled for snowy days to melt ice on the sidewalk.  The salt used for melting ice is typically Rock Salt.  Although you can float on any densely salted water, Isolation Tanks are traditionally filled with Epsom Salt.
  3. Echoing number one of what they got wrong, having someone speak to you during a float typically defeats the purpose.  Although some people like to listen to music while they float, most float session include ear plugs to block out any distracting noises.
  4. Since she was a little girl surrounded by a bunch of people we will let this one slide too.  Traditionally most floats are done fully nude.

If your interest toward self deprivations tanks was peaked because of Stanger Things you can try it for yourself by finding a place to float.


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